Game on, stress off

By Nathan Mazurek
December 12, 2023

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

In 1958, the first video game was invented. William Higinbotham, who was a physicist, invented this simple tennis game called “tennis for two”. This led to generations of fun, online connections and the escape of the real world. Since then, video games have evolved into top entertainment for all ages. 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

According to Play Today, the largest group of gamers are ages 18 to 34, meaning college students tend to play a lot of video games. Though many other ages partake in video games, this age group came from the peak of video games.

Video games are a great distraction from the world. This means college students can use them to relieve stress from school and improve their mental health. This can also be used for adults who grew up in the peak of the video game generation to relieve stress from their jobs and their responsibilities.

How students use video games   

After a long day’s work, students tend to sit back, relax and use video games as a way to end their day and turn off their brain. 

Junior digital communication and social media major Nick Mormando said, “I often play video games at night when I have nothing else going on.” Video games can also be a way to destress. “ the same way that people just hop in their car and go for a drive, I just hop on a game and let it free my mind. After a long day, especially with interactive games where you’re playing with other people, it is a good way to let stress go,” Mormando said. 

Senior business management major Corbin Carraghan said, “There’s a lot of stuff that happens as a college student throughout your day. You can be very busy one second, and the next day not as much. On the days that I am really busy, when it comes to nighttime or when I’m finally done, I like to sit down, relax and kind of escape from all the stress of life and school, so it definitely helps me clear my mind and go into the next day.”

The proven science of mental improvement 

One 2021 article on WebMD notes, “Playing video games has numerous benefits for your mental health. Video games can help you relieve stress and get your mind going. Some benefits include: mental stimulation, feeling accomplished, mental health recovery, social interaction and emotional resilience.”

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Video games can be controversial because some are extremely violent and may give the wrong ideas. But WebMD’s editorial contributors disagree. “Playing video games has been linked to improved moods and mental health benefits. It might seem natural to think that violent video games like first-person shooters aren’t good for your mental health. However, all video games can be beneficial for different reasons.”

What started as a simple invention for a little bit of entertainment has turned into a world of not only fun, but also therapy. As Mormando and Carraghan said, video games give them the ability to escape from the stress of not just being a student, but also being human. It is like a mental vacation that can help the two of them, and many like them, relax and feel better.

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Nathan Mazurek

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